Mike Segar / Reuters
Will DeMarcus Cousins, Daniel Orton, and John Wall be back in Lexington?
John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and the rest left the court three wins shy of their goal, winning a national title. Conventional thinking has been that this would be their only chance to win a title with this group of fab freshmen, and it doesn't sound like that's changed.
"It hurts. And the part that hurts the most is that we'll never get a chance to play with each other again," Cousins said afterward. "That's the part that's killing me the most. I'll never be able to play with my teammates, my brothers, again."
Wall was mum on his future.
"I'm not worried about the talk of what I'm doing next," he said. "I'm going to sit back and enjoy the rest of my college year with my teammates and finish the rest of the school year out."
OK, that means I'll have to speculate. (Well, me and the rest of the 'Net.)
Wall, Cousins and fellow freshmen Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe, along with junior Patrick Patterson (who's set to graduate this year) all fielded questions earlier this month on their draft thoughts.
All five could very well bolt. But will they? They have until April 25 to declare.
Wall is seen as the likely No. 1 overall selection in June's NBA draft. He's as fast with the ball as he is without, explosive off the dribble, a solid defender and an excellent passer. He's the easy equivalent of Derrick Rose. If you're the top pick, you go. Does he love Kentucky that much to stay?
Cousins is essentially in the same situation. He's probably a Top 5 pick (according to this and this), which means his stock can't go much higher if he stays another season. Plus, he's ready for the NBA. But I've read that if Wall returns, Cousins would. Call it the dream scenario.
If Wall and Cousins return, Patterson could do the same, but the guy will have his degree and three stellar years to his credit. Hard to see him back.
Orton and Bledsoe are the wild cards.
Orton's a good bet to return. He didn't get much exposure during the tournament and scouts would be taking a leap of faith.
Bledsoe's the hardest to predict. He's flashed lottery-type potential, yet would undoubtedly benefit from another season in Lexington. If John Calipari lands star recruit Brandon Knight, will Bledsoe want to play second fiddle to yet another No. 1 overall recruit?
My feeling is Bledsoe and Orton stay and help keep Kentucky among the 2011 contenders.
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